Posts Tagged ‘1976’


December 19, 2012

I’m agnostic about everything. I’m afraid to commit to believing, but I’m no skeptic.

I will not say that I believe in the supernatural: ghosts, reincarnations, psychic ability, television reception.

But I have witnessed things, and I won’t say they don’t exist.

As a child I had a recurring nightmare. Remember the lids from jars of Tree Top apple juice? There were red, green and yellow ones. One was for juice, one cider, one unsweetened. In my dream, people wore them on their heads. The colors meant something, but I didn’t know what. Mine was sometimes purple. Sometimes I didn’t know what mine was, because no one would tell me.

Parts of the dream were always the same. Men in uniform were checking lids. If you had a certain color, they took you and killed you.

I remember waiting with the others. We had been collected and amassed behind a large rock.  They would come and grab a few people, line them in front of the rock and shoot them. Then we waited while they scooted the bodies away and came for a few more.

I always woke up during the waiting.

It was the waiting.

The waiting was bad. It came with sounds: the boots coming to get more people, the occasional pleading, the gunfire. It came with praying I could die by surprise.

I was just a child, 6, I think, when the dreams started.

At 13, in school, I learned about the Holocaust. I thought of the dream, which I had had so many times it began to feel like a memory. I imagined the victims waiting. I thought of the fear and the sounds.

I remembered from my dream, the smell of the fear, mixed with the odor of discharged guns, blood and urine.

I have no idea if my picturing was accurate, but I thought I could picture it just.

Then in high school, with three years of French under my belt, I found the French classes were full. I was forced to start at the beginning and take German.

I loved it. The sentence structure felt natural. Conversation just fell out of my mouth. I thought, ‘Once you’ve learned one foreign language, it’s easy to learn another.’

After two weeks, my mom met my teacher at open house. She came home and said this, “Mrs. Krause said she could drop you in Germany today and you would be fine. She said it was like you spoke it in a past life, and it was just coming back to you.”


That was when I tucked these things I’ve written here into the same pocket.

Maybe I’m just good at languages. Maybe I was just a little girl who shouldn’t have seen the scene in Shogun where they asked a group to select one among themselves to be boiled.

I will not say I believe in reincarnation.

But I think I may have been somewhere I’ve never been.

The eyelash gluing story

December 10, 2012

My friend Linda sent me a with-and-without-makeup e-mail showing beautiful famous women looking like regular folk. I zoomed in to see what the trick was.

I found it: eyelashes.

In every after picture, the women had false lashes prettying them up.

I went straight to the Longs and bought a bunch.

Last night I went to a dressy deal, so I glued a pair on. I looked old. All I needed was a cheetah skin purse and some off-color foundation, and I could have passed for one of those 50-somethings in denial.

Still I’m glad I tried it, because I remembered the story about Aunt Frances.

Aunt Frances isn’t technically an aunt. She grew up with the sisters, and by the time I was born I couldn’t tell the difference. She has always been one of the aunts.

And she has always worn false lashes.

Now I got this tale third hand at least, and it seems unbelievable, but everybody says this is the way it happened — and by everybody, I mean Mom.

Aunt Frances one day grabbed the wrong tube off the counter and super-glued her lashes. Her lids sealed closed, and she couldn’t open them nohow.

She groped for the phone and rode in an ambulance to the hospital, where they had to use a razor blade to slit her lids apart.

We’re in Southern California. If I were that doctor, I would have done a no-earthquake dance, spun around and spit three times, just in case.